You, an independent Software Contractor, have been hired by Robotic Mailing Solutions Inc. (RMS) to provide
some much needed assistance in delivering the latest version of their product Automail to market. The Automail
is an automated mail sorting and delivery system designed to operate in large buildings that have dedicated
Mail rooms. It offers end to end receipt and delivery of all mail within the large building, and can be tweaked to
fit many different installation environments. The system consists of four key components:
• A Mail Pool system which can hold a number of mail items which have arrived at the building.
• A Delivery Robot (see Figure 1) which delivers mail items from the mail pool throughout the building.
• A Storage Unit, that is, a ‘backpack’ which is attached to the delivery robot. It can contain at most
four mail items; these mail items are in delivery order.
• A Mail Selecting system which decides what mail items should go into a robot’s backpack for delivery
and in what order, and in some cases which items should come out.
Figure 1: Artistic representation of our robot
The hardware of this system has been well tested, and the system engineers have confidence in their design.
Recently a new robot was acquired which removed the mail item weight limitation of the earlier model. RMS
wants to run two robots together, an old one and a new one, for a more effective solution. Unfortunately, the
performance seen so far still seems well below optimal, and sometimes results in heavy items being given to
the weak robot. RMS has traditionally been a hardware company, and as such do not have much software
development experience. As a result, the strategies that they are using to organise the mail and select the mail
for delivery are very poor.
Your job is to apply your software engineering knowledge to fix the mail sorting and to develop a better strategy
for selecting the mail for delivery, all with the aim to improve the performance of their system. Once you have
made your changes, they will be benchmarked to provide feedback on your performance to Robotic Mailing